When setting out to light a home or business, lighting design is often overlooked. Alongside being necessary for day-to-day tasks, it is also useful in setting the overall mood and atmosphere of different rooms. Below, we will examine the benefits of proper LED lighting as well as explain how to light your home room by room with everything from wall lights to downlights to other types of ceiling lights.
Why Is Light Important to Us?
– Affects mood. Studies have shown that different lighting can affect your mood. It is believed that:
- Both positive and negative emotions are felt more powerfully under bright lighting.
- Workers and students feel happier, healthier and more productive when they are working in natural daylight.
- Too much light at night, including from screens, can make it difficult to sleep and make sleeping disorders worse.
– Atmosphere. Light creates an atmosphere in a room. It can determine what a space feels like to be in. For instance, warm white light can make a space more welcoming, while bright white light can make a space feel more clinical and sanitary.
– Human evolution. Perhaps most importantly, humankind has evolved to rely on light. We have difficulty seeing in the dark, but can perform tasks easily in adequate lighting.
Some benefits of daylight include:
Certain colour temperatures of light mimic daylight. In so doing, colour temperatures may be able to benefit the body.
Below are a few ways that they can:
– Vitamin D from natural lighting. Daylight is the main source of Vitamin D, making it quite important. Daylight works by helping the body produce vitamin D, which strengthens the body without ingesting too much of it like you might when eating foods that have it.
– Ability to improve productivity and focus. Studies have shown that students and workers who work under daylight lighting are happier and can better focus on the tasks at hand.
– Helps you keep your body clock in rhythm. Circadian rhythms are responsible for helping the body coordinate various functions. This includes everything from cell regeneration to digestion to sleep. They tend to run about 24 hours total, so natural light at predictable intervals in the day helps keep your body running smoothly.
By choosing indoor daylight-style lighting such as the 595×595 LED Sky Panel Ceiling Architectural Lighting Feature, you can bring daylight into any dark space. This is ideal for places that do not have a lot of windows or other sources of natural light, such as meeting rooms, offices, hospitals and hotels.
Important Lighting Design Considerations
There are three main types of lighting that you can install in any given room. They are ambient, task and mood or accent lighting:
– Ambient lighting is also called background or general lighting and is in reference to the overall illumination in a space. This usually includes recessed lighting, pendant lighting and sometimes wall lights.
– Task lighting is the targeted illumination to certain areas of the room where you perform tasks. This includes reading, cooking and doing work. Desk lamps, table lamps and even vanity lights on mirrors are the most common application of task lighting.
– Mood or accent lighting is used to highlight certain features or objects in the home that you want to draw the eye to. This includes sculptures, cabinets, artwork and other similar items. Oftentimes, low-level chandeliers and spotlight track lighting is used for this purpose.
All of the above are commonly layered with one another to create an even spread of illumination. Before you jump into that, there are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your lighting design:
– Light brightness and distribution. You should think about how daylight affects the lighting in your home when it interacts with artificial lighting. When possible, let natural light do as much of the work as it can. As mentioned, this may help workers and students feel more productive, while keeping your circadian rhythms in check and helping to regulate your mood.
– Conserve energy. Older types of lighting such as halogen and incandescent bulbs use far more energy than more modern options like as LEDs. LEDs tend to use 25 to 80 percent less power than the others, which is not only better for the environment but also better for energy bills.
– The overall appearance. First and foremost, light is there to illuminate areas, but it can also play a huge role in the overall atmosphere of the space. Consider using wall lights, downlights, lamps, pendant lighting and others to create a nice mood in the space.
– Colour temperature. Colour temperature indicates whether a light is cool or warm. The temperature is measured in degrees Kelvin and runs from 2700k to 4700k. The higher the Kelvin rating, the cooler and bluer the light. On the other hand, the lower the rating, the warmer and yellowish-red the light will be. Many people prefer warmer colour temperatures at home, as it provides a cosy feel. The most popular colour temperature for domestic use falls between 3000k and 3300k warm white light.
– Flexibility and control of the lighting. You can change the practicality of a space by including not only just light switches but motion sensors as well.
– Purpose of the space. Consider what you intend to do in each room, such as working, cooking and relaxing, and plan task lighting accordingly.
– Glare. Glare can come right from a light source or it can be reflected off appliances, desktops and more. If you want to avoid glare, you should keep in mind the furnishings in the area when planning where your lights will go.
How To Layer Light When Designing Your Scheme
As mentioned, there are three main types of light in a space: ambient, task and accent lights. Below you will learn how to work them into a room together:
Ambient lighting usually comes from ceiling lights, such as downlights. Consider the number of lumens that these lights output; larger rooms will need more, while smaller rooms require less. After determining how many lumens a light needs using the information above, you can work on the colour temperature that you want to use. It should be the same as the other lights, and it should align with the purpose and decor in the space.
After illuminating most of the space with ambient light, you can work on adding task lighting. Choose lighting that has a tighter angle and a high beam centre to shine on kitchens, desks and tables.
This type of lighting will put the finishing touch on the feel of the room. Use dedicated lights, such as spotlights, to shine on architectural features, artwork or anything else you want to draw attention to. This can also include adding wall lights to eliminate any dark spots or shadows.
LED Colour Temperatures Explained
Colour temperature is an indicator of the warmth or coolness of a given light and is measured in degrees Kelvin. The Kelvin scale runs the opposite way than the temperature scale, which may seem counterintuitive at first. The higher the Kelvin rating, the cooler and bluer the light looks. The lower the Kelvin rating, the warmer and more reddish the light appears. Whichever you choose, you should stick to one or the other per room so as not to cause unsightly clashing:
- Warm white colours between 2000k and 2700k are best for subtlety and warmth. These lights offer a nostalgic and cosy feel that is reminiscent of old light bulbs.
- Daylight and natural lighting between 4000k and 5000k are slightly cooler lighting temperatures. They add something vibrant and fresh to the house.
- Cool white lights between 5500k and 6500k are better for kitchen and bathroom lighting, as they provide plenty of vivid light to perform tasks.
How To Light Entryways and Hallways and Stairways
Entryway and hallway lighting is important to consider, though many overlook it. Below are some tips on lighting your hallway correctly:
– Use small sconces. Sconces are a discreet and atmospheric way to line the hallways. They won’t take up a lot of space like lamps on tables will, and they add something decorative to blank walls at the same time.
– Multidirectional lights in narrow corridors. Using uplighting or wall washing lights can light up the space and create a nice glow while also adding an artistic finishing touch to the room. Uplighters can also make the small space feel larger, so it feels less cramped to walk down.
– Use oversized lighting in the entry. Guests will be wowed when they step into your home, only to be greeted with a large, dramatic pendant. This makes a welcoming first impression and can set the stage for the feel of the rest of the lighting in the home.
– Track lighting. Lining an exceptionally long hallway with spotlights along the top can go a long way towards brightening up the space and making it feel less cramped.
– Consider layers. In a more spacious entryway or hallway, you can add layers of light to ensure even distribution and a visually intriguing appearance.
How To Light Utility Rooms and Garage Spaces
As utility rooms are task rooms, lighting is quite important—especially task lighting. Below are a few things to consider when planning utility room lighting:
– Add some light beneath the cabinets. Placing lights beneath a cabinet can work as an extension of the lighting already in the space while also adding a little extra illumination here and there for performing tasks.
– Utilise task lighting. As you are there to do some sort of work, you will need task lighting over important areas. Be sure you have lamps, hanging pendants or another type of dedicated task lighting to shine on worktops.
– Layer the lights. Use overhead lighting to create a general wash of light and fill out the rest with the help of wall lights and lamps. These should be placed at different levels in the room to ensure that the light is easily spread out throughout the space.
– Use static spotlights. Spotlights positioned in one place shining bright light where you need it most can be quite beneficial. Because they attach to the wall high up at the ceiling, they won’t get in the way of the work you are doing.
– Add some moveable lights. Since you may find yourself working in various parts of the room, you can add movable lights. You can position these lights wherever you need them depending on the task at hand. This can make the space more comfortable and convenient for more than one task.
– Measure the utility room and garage. Once you know how large the space is, you can calculate the number of lumens you will need to properly light it up. This will save you from having any shadows and dark corners after the installation of the lights.
Guidance on How To Light a Bathroom
When it comes to lighting a bathroom, follow these tips:
– Begin with the ceiling and work your way down. Choose a ceiling light such as mounted or recessed lighting and add vanity lighting to cover the task lighting. From there, light the tub and shower area and maybe even add some under-mount cabinet lighting for extra flair.
– Think about the amount of light you’ll need. Calculate how many lumens you will need in your bathroom based on its size and choose lights that offer enough lumens to fill that requirement.
– Consider recessed lighting. Using recessed lighting or spot beams can offer a modern look to the bathroom. This can also serve as excellent task lighting.
– Carefully use hanging lights. Instead of hanging a light pointing straight down, locate the ceiling light near the walkway space so that you are lit from behind in the mirror instead of casting shadows on yourself from above.
Best Ways To Light a Kitchen
Below are some tips on kitchen lighting:
– Illuminate important areas. Be sure you are providing plenty of light over task areas. This includes over the island, breakfast bar, counters and sink area. You can also use the island area as the hanging point for your ambient lighting if it is well centralised.
– Take advantage of accent lighting. Consider adding recessed lights, over cabinet lights or plinth lighting to bring the light throughout the room and create a well-layered, cohesive look. These types of lights can also create a pleasant mood or atmosphere in the kitchen during different times of the day.
– Get proper lighting levels. Like any other room, calculate the amount of light you are going to need based on the size of your kitchen. When shopping for your lights, be sure the lumens you have are enough to meet those requirements.
How To Light a Dining Room the Right Way
Create a beautiful dining area by following these tips:
– Choose the ambience level. If you want a cosy dining room, you should opt for lights of a warmer colour scheme. Choose lights around the 3300k warm white colour temperature range for best results.
– Think about scale. When factoring in pendant lights, you should take into consideration the size of the dining room and the dining table itself. Generally speaking, a few liner lights along a long table makes the dining table better lit than a single one. Conversely, on a simple round table, one light in the centre is ideal.
– Remember the rule of three. When it comes to long tables or countertops, having an odd number of lights is ideal. The tried and true number for most spaces tends to be three lights per table or long bar area.
How To Light a Living Room for Functional Light and Mood Lighting
Living room lighting is crucial, as this is an area you spend most of your time. Below are some tips for lighting it:
– Utilise task lighting. Many people will install an ambient light in the room and call it a day, but task lighting is important. Position some lamps over reading nooks or by armchairs for supplementary light at night. This will prevent you from having to turn on the bright overhead light at night just to see.
– Create a mood. Accent lighting on artwork or architectural features can make the space feel more like home. It can also make it more visually interesting and add some intrigue to the space. Highlight textured walls or sculptures using spotlights or wall lights for best results.
Guidance on How To Light a Bedroom
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and inviting by following these tips:
– Take advantage of layering lights. Choose an overhead light that you love, but don’t forgo task lighting by the bed, like wall-mounted reading lights and bedside table lamps. This will give you convenient lighting that you don’t have to get out of bed for.
– Choose the right colour temperature. Warm white LED lights will make the space feel cosy and relaxing compared to bright, cool lights.
– Utilise sconces. If you share the room with another person, consider sconces for reading lights on either side of the bed, so one can use a light without disturbing the other.
Three Creative Ideas for Interior Lighting
Those who love the look of recessed lighting for their ambient light but do not have the right ceilings for the job will love the LBL251 5 Watt Hexagonal Surface Mounted LED Downlight. The downlight affixes to the ceiling, shining light straight down just like a recessed light. The product has a hexagonal shape that offers a modern edge, while the neutral finishes of white, grey and black make it easy to incorporate into rooms of any colour scheme. The light gives off a warm 3000k white lighting colour and shines 400 lumens of light.
Get creative with your lighting by choosing LWA438 12 Watt LED Interior Wall Uplighter Fitting. The wall light is as decorative as it is practical, with light shining upward and onto the wall to give it an artistic look. The simple flat shape brings with it an air of modern minimalism that is easy to incorporate into any room, thanks to the neutral black and white colour options. It shines 1000 lumens of gentle 3000k warm white light.
The LWA464 3 Watt White Flexible Arm LED Bedside Reading Light is a great choice for task lighting in the bedroom. Designed as a reading light but well suited for light over a desk, this light has a flexible arm that directs light at a 30-degree angle wherever you point it. It outputs 120 lumens of 3000k warm white light from a flexible head. With a built-in USB port, it conveniently allows you to charge your electronics from the back plate. The white finish allows you to easily position it in any room without clashing with the existing colour scheme, making it quite versatile in many ways.
When it comes to lighting your home using LED lighting, there are many things to consider and many options to choose from. If you are unsure of where to start, this article can help. Above, we have outlined a few things to consider when lighting your space room by room.